Archived Story

Ask Trooper Rob: Motorists need to be on lookout for school buses

Published 9:39pm Thursday, September 1, 2011

With school starting in Michigan Tuesday, I would like to remind everyone to be a safe and patient driver. Remember, children may be walking or riding bikes to school. School buses will be back and the red lights will be activated. This may slow your drive. Leave early, allow time for the delays and please be patient.
MVC 257.682, Stopping for school bus displaying flashing red lights, states:
“(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking or meeting a school bus which has stopped and is displaying two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level shall bring the vehicle to a full stop not less than 20 feet from the school bus and shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated. The driver of a vehicle who fails to stop for a school bus as required by this subsection, who passes a school bus in violation of this subsection, or who fails to stop for a school bus in violation of an ordinance that complies with this subsection, is responsible for a civil infraction.
(2) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway which has been divided into two roadways by leaving an intervening space, or by a physical barrier, or clearly indicated dividing sections so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, need not stop upon meeting a school bus which has stopped across the dividing space, barrier or section. (South 11th Street, near U.S. Highway 12, does not meet this requirement. There is no physical barrier; therefore, all traffic must stop.)
Bus drivers watch for vehicles passing while lights are activated. This is reported to law enforcement and an investigation is completed. A ticket may then be issued. In Berrien County, the fine is $240. In Cass County, the fine is $260. In addition to the civil fine and costs provided for a civil infraction under section 907, the judge, district court referee, or district court magistrate may order a person who violates this section to perform not to exceed 100 hours of community service at a school.
Parent tip: This is the last tip in the Smart Summer Campaign. Although we only did a 12-week campaign, good parenting and safety should never end.
Are you a good role model for your kids? Are you sure? Are you setting the example? Remember, the things that you say and do have a huge influence on your children and other members of your family. It is important to be a good role model especially when it comes to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Think about what kind of example you set for your family.
Think about it — if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may want to make a change: 1) Has your family ever seen you drunk? 2) Do you always drink when celebrating something important? 3) Do you take sleeping pills often? 4) Do you think that it is funny to get drunk? 5) Do you smoke cigarettes or marijuana? 6) Do you ever drink and drive? 7) Do you drink alcohol every day?
There are places to turn to. If you think you or a family member need help for a substance abuse or mental health problem you can call the following places for help: Van Buren/Cass District Substance Abuse, (269) 621-3134 ext. 304; Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network, (269) 445-3216; and The Gryphon Place 2-1-1 helpline is available 24 hours.

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